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In Pictures: Environmentally Friendly Pearl Farming
By Angela Messina, August 12, 2013 @ 07:35 PM (EST)
Source: National Geographic

The processes involved with pearl farming can often be detrimental to the environment, but Kamoka Pearl, a family-owned and operated pearl farming operation in French Polynesia, is working with scientists to develop more sustainable and environmentally friendly methods.

Laurent Cartier from the University of Basel in Switzerland is one of the scientists working with Kamoka Pearl to research new farming techniques. Cartier is also one of the founders of sustainablepearls.org, an organization that hopes to develop a certification program for sustainably raised pearls.

One new and more sustainable method used by Kamoka Pearl is to buoy the pearl oysters in shallow water in order to let fish pick them clean. Pearl farmers instead usually blast the oysters with water, resulting in an overload of organic matter in nearby lagoons.

See photographs by National Geographic.

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